ENCE pulled off arguably one of the biggest upsets in CS:GO Major history after staging a 2-0 victory against tournament favorites Team Liquid at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII - Katowice Major 2019: New Champions Stage Quarterfinals.
After barely making it out of the New Legends Stage as an 8th seed where they clawed their way back from a 0-2 hole, the all-Finnish squad came to Spodek Arena with no pressure on their side despite the fact that all members of the squad with the exception of veteran captain Aleksi "allu" Jalli come to the Champions Stage as first time Legends.
Map 1: Mirage
The Finns opened the series in their map selection Mirage with a strong T side claiming a 2-0 lead. The North Americans however answered back immediately with a 4-0 blitz, but ENCE eventually took over with rallies on their own led by Jani "Aerial" Jussila whose fast-paced triple kill in the ninth round gave ENCE the lead that eventually resulted to a 8-7 lead in the half.
It was then Liquid’s turn to fire things up at the switch with a 2-0 win on the pistol rounds, but ENCE eventually established their economy come the gun rounds towards a 16-11 victory.
Map 2: Inferno
Things continued to be shaky for Liquid entering Inferno – their map choice as they started out flat 2-5 but they finally found their groove at round 8 as Nick "nitr0" Cannella led them to string 8 consecutive rounds for a commanding 10-5 lead.
Come the 2nd half, the Finns struck back with a 3-0 run to trim down the deficit to 2. However, Liquid answered with a 5-round run through their full buys to reach map point. Not wanting to back down, allu came to life to stage a 7-0 rally to force overtime.
Overtime came and it was an all ENCE show as they took 2 rounds on each half to wrap up the series and complete a momentous upset by sending Team Liquid out of the Major.
Prior to the stunner, Natus Vincere edged out Faze Clan 2-0 to claim their own semifinal seat. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev lorded over former teammate turned bitter rival Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács in a grudge match between the EU and CIS powerhouse. Na'Vi will be facing ENCE at the semifinals tomorrow as the IEM Katowice Major continues.